Library Policies and Procedures

Document Information

Document Name

GHC Library Social Media Policy Public or Private? Public
Classification Policy Date Proposed 4/17/19
Document Number LI101 Date Effective  
Subject GHC Library's Social Media Account Usage Date Last Reviewed  
Group(s) Impacted Library Faculty & Staff; GHC Library Social Media Users Responsible Office(s) Library and Testing Services



Policy Statement

Georgia Highlands College Libraries recognize the opportunity for use of social media outlets to assist in fulfilling the library's mission as well as the mission of Georgia Highlands College to provide access to excellent educational opportunities and create an environment conducive to successful learning and meaningful research.

Social Media outreach performed by the libraries will serve to notify and inform the GHC Community (internal and external) of library services available. Additionally, the libraries will utilize social media to build and strengthen relationships between the GHC Libraries and GHC Community.

Opinions expressed on any social media platform do not reflect the views or positions of the library, its officers, or its employees. Social media users should exercise their own judgment about the quality and accuracy of any information presented through social media.

Acceptable Behavior

By joining, utilizing and/or posting on the Library’s social media sites, GHC Library social media users agree to comply with this Policy, and other Library Policies as applicable. The Library’s Social Media Policy applies whether or not a user chooses to post comments using a computer at the Library or when posting from any other computer to any Library social media site. While the Library encourages dialog, it respectfully requests that users be mindful that its social media sites are open to the public and that comments remain courteous and respectful. Patrons are personally responsible for their commentary. Patrons should be aware that they may be held personally liable for commentary that is defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libelous by any offended party, not just the Library.


Complaints regarding GHC Libraries social media should be sent to the Dean of Libraries and College Testing who will share the complaint and discuss with the Library Leadership Team. Determination on the appropriateness of the post to remain on the social media sites will be made by the Library Leadership Team with the right of veto belonging to the Dean of Libraries and College Testing. The complainant will be informed of the Leadership Team's decision. 

No posts made by GHC Libraries will be removed without following this proper procedure. Decisions to remove content/posts will not reside on the authority of the social media administrator alone.


GHC Employees

All uses of social media must follow the same ethical standards that GHC Library employees must otherwise follow. Librarians and library staff should consider the ALA Code of Ethics when using social media. GHC Library social media interactions must adhere to state and federal laws and regulations, and University policies.

Social Media Users

The Library supports patrons' right to free speech, but reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed to be in violation of this policy or any applicable law. Content that is deemed not suitable for posting by the Library because it is not topically related to the particular subject being commented on, or is deemed prohibited based on the criteria defined below, shall be retained pursuant to the records retention schedule along with a description of the reason(s) the specific content was deleted. Content and comments on the Library’s social media accounts containing any of the following forms of content and postings shall not be allowed:

  • Obscenity or child pornography
  • Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination and/or harassment on the basis of race, creed, color, age, gender, marital status, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, ancestry or any other protected category.
  • Slanderous, libelous, threatening or defamatory statements
  • Copyrighted or trademarked material
  • Spam
  • Content not related to Library and GHC mission and goals
  • Advertising or sale of merchandise or services; or
  • Charitable solicitations or political campaigning

User Privacy

The GHC Libraries respect the privacy of all users. Interactions on GHC Libraries' social media must protect confidential information with respect to privacy laws, copyright, and other legal rights.


To clearly lay out policy and procedure surrounding GHC Library Social Media interractions.

Document Summary

Policy and procedure regarding the GHC Library Social Media interactions are crucial due to the public forum nature of social media along with the importance of creating a branding standard and marketing plan for the library.


Social media

“Social media” is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).” Libraries participate in social media for many reasons but primarily to communicate information about library services and resources, and to engage with their communities. Social media sites may have their own terms of service, privacy, acceptable behavior, and stated consequences for violating those terms of service. Users can post their own content or respond to what has already been posted.

Social Media Administrator

Broadly, the individual, department, program, club, organization, group or other entity maintaining a social media account. For GHC Libraries, this will be one GHC Libraries employee who posts all content and is responsible for monitoring social media accounts, responding to user comments/messages as needed in addition to following of branding and marketing guidelines for GHC Libraries. Library Leadership Team Members and the Dean of Libraries will have administrator access to the GHC Library social media accounts as needed and necessary.

Social Media Users

Anyone in the GHC Communities (internal or external) who joins/follows, utilizes and/or posts on the GHC Libraries social media sites.

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